Things to know.
A vehicle transported/driven from the United States for non-commercial or private use outside the country may return duty free to the United States, if U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is provided specific proof of U.S. origination. This proof may be a State issued vehicle registration card or a CBP certificate of registration (CBP 4455) completed and verified by a CBP officer before departure from the United States.
Know that any repairs or accessories acquired abroad for your vehicle must be declared on your return and may be subject to duty.
Warning: Catalytic-equipped vehicles (1976 or later model years) driven outside the United States, Canada, or Mexico will not, in many cases, meet EPA standards when brought back to the United States. As unleaded fuel generally is not available in other countries, the catalytic converter will become inoperative and must be replaced. Contact the Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. 20460, for details and exceptions.
When planning to purchase a vehicle outside the United States and then import the vehicle into the United States, it would be advisable to review our publication "Importing or Exporting a Car" on the related links section of this site for general guidance. If planning to permanently export a vehicle be aware that there are several regulations that must be met prior to lawful exportation.
For additional questions, contact your local CBP Port office.
Written by Filip Michelet